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Madison cooling centers open until noon Sunday

Madison officials announced at least one of the city's cooling centers will be open until Sunday, as the second-longest heat wave in southern Wisconsin history continued to bake the city.

The Salvation Army of Dane County, which is providing food to the two shelters, had served more than 1,000 meals by Friday night, Maj. Loren Carter said.

The volunteer response will continue as long as the shelter is open, despite a lack of funding for the emergency response, Carter said.

"Our shelter is full -- even our overflow shelter is full," he said as he served meatball sandwiches to needy residents. "We turned away people last night where we didn't have enough room. It's been very busy."

City officials said the shelters at the Madison Senior Center and Warner Park will close at 12 p.m. Saturday, and that the Monona Terrace cooling center would reopen until Sunday. Buses will continue to transport people needing relief to the shelters.

Northside Madison group teaches youth about money

A youth group on Madison's north side used a local farmer's market to learn the value of a dollar on Sunday.

The Vera Court Neighborhood Center is helping a group of middle school-aged students how to run a successful business. The group created a taco and tamale stand at the Northside Farmer's Market in hopes of raising enough money for a trip to the Wisconsin Dells.

"I think it's really great that youth on�the�north side of Madison are getting to own something and make something themselves," said Patrick Shrank, who works at the Vera Court Neighborhood Center. "They also have the ownership of saying, 'Hey, if I want to do something, if I want to go to the Dells, I have to earn that."

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Eli Morocho is 12 years old and worked at the food stand on Sunday.

City worried about trees in extreme heat

The intense dry weather is posing such a threat to greenery that the city of Madison is working overtime to save some of its newly planted trees.

Over the past year, the city has planted about 1,000 new trees, totaling upwards of $180,000.

City officials said the last thing they want is for that investment to wilt away.

"Getting less than an inch (of rain) for the whole month of June, we've had to keep crews out here continually," said Dean Kahl, forestry operations supervisor for the city of Madison. "(We're) spending basically more time in June watering trees than the last two years combined at this point."

Linda Barcz from the Bruce Company said with this weather, it seems more people are worried about their brown lawns than their trees.

Barcz said this is a big problem because the first five years of a tree's life in the ground are the most important for its development.

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Mallards get walk-off win

Tom Verdi hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning Friday night as the Madison Mallards defeated the Eau Claire Express 8-6 at Warner Park..

Danny Sullivan improved to 2-1 on the year by picking up the win for the Madison Mallards. He struck out none, walked none and surrendered one hit.

Josh Scheffert hit two home runs for the Eau Claire Express (11-25). Scheffert went 3-5 in the game with four RBIs and two runs scored. Scheffert homered in the eighth and tenth innings.

Tyler Marincov racked up three RBIs on four hits for the Madison Mallards. He homered in the fifth inning, singled in the first and sixth innings, and doubled in the eleventh inning.

The Mallards are now 2-0 to start the second half of the Northwoods League season.

Madison leaders urge people to use cooling centers

City of Madison leaders are encouraging residents who need relief from the heat to use city cooling centers.

Cooling centers are at Warner Park and at the Monona Terrace location that have cots for 60 people.

The cooling center at the Warner Park recreation center will remain open until noon Saturday, when the temperatures are expected to drop.

The cooling center at the Monona Terrace will be open until 8 a.m. Friday, then switch over to the Madison Senior Center through noon Saturday at 330 West Mifflin St.

Officials said there is food and water at the cooling centers, and Madison Metro is providing free rides to the Monona Terrace and Warner Park locations.

For the second consecutive day, the temperature has reached triple digits in Madison on Thursday. For the fourth consecutive day, Madison has set a record high temperature.

DOT warns of high risk of pavement buckling

State transportation officials are warning motorists to watch out for buckling roads as the heat wave drags on.

According to the National Weather Service, highs are expected in the 90s in the northern part of Wisconsin Thursday, with the southern part of the state possibly reaching up to 106.

An excessive heat warning was issued for much of central, southern and western Wisconsin through 10 p.m. Friday. A heat advisory is in effect for northern Wisconsin through 10 p.m. Thursday.

The Department of Transportation said the risk of buckling pavement will be high Thursday and Friday.

During hot weather, pavement tends to expand. Where there are expansion joints, the slabs of pavement push against each other and if the pressure becomes high enough the pavement may buckle.

The agency said it received reports of 17 pavement buckles on major highways on July 4th alone. Workers were able to make repairs in an average of two to three hours.

Hundreds seek shelter overnight from excessive heat

As the temperature keeps climbing, so does the number of people seeking shelter in Madison's cooling centers.

There are cooling centers at Warner Park and at the Monona Terrace location that have cots for 60 people.�

Given the heat, twice as many showed up there Wednesday and officials say by nightfall, the number will climb even higher.

The officials at the cooling center also couldn?t remember the last time Madison opened one.

Jessica Jasper can?t either.�"I don't ever recall it ever being this hot,? said Jasper.

She?ll take what she can get, given she?s about to give birth.�"I'm due on Tuesday and I've already had false labor,? she said.

The 30-year-old and her three other kids are homeless and bounce between shelters, but prefer the Terrace?s TVs, cots and friendly faces.�

On Tuesday, there were 60 people inside the center. By Wednesday, officials say the number was twice that and overnight could be closer to 200.�